TEMPE, Ariz. — Sean Weatherspoon is the latest in a growing list of players to come to Arizona on a one-year contract looking to prove himself.
Such is life when you appear in just 47 of a possible 80 games over a five-year stretch — and miss an entire season — before entering free agency.
“Oh I knew it, I knew it. I was ready for that,” Weatherspoon said Wednesday when asked if he knew a one-year deal was in his future after his latest injury, an Achilles tendon rupture, cost him the 2014 campaign. “Once it happened I figured I’d come back from this, that’s what I told myself when I was sitting there down and out, looking at everything that was happening. I was down but I was ultimately thinking about the comeback.”
That comeback takes him to Arizona, a team that could desperately use a player with Weatherspoon’s skill set. When healthy, the 6-foot-2, 244-pound linebacker is a playmaker. In 2011, the only season in which he played a full 16 games, he came up with 115 total tackles, four sacks, one fumble recovery and eight passes defensed.
Along with his playmaking ability, the 27-year-old Weatherspoon said he brings leadership to the table, and that’s something a team could always use more of.
“I’m passionate,” he said. “I’m going to — I try to refrain from using bad words — but I’m going to play my ass off for this organization, for this city. I’m just going to give it all I’ve got, and I think if you do that, at the end of the day you can be satisfied.”
In a perfect world, Weatherspoon, who said he feels great and has received a clean bill of health, will stay healthy the entire season, picking up a career that not long ago seemed like it was on the right path. In return, the Cardinals would get an impact player at a discount rate.
“I think it’s the best deal for both parties,” Weatherspoon said. “I’m looking to establish myself — reestablish myself — and show what I can do. It’s a great organization that’s up and coming. You can see the excitement around this building, and it’s something that I wanted to be a part of, so I do think it’s a good deal for both sides.”
Weatherspoon said he and the team have not really gone over his role much, but that he will do whatever he must to help the team win. That’s why, while he could have gone anywhere to resuscitate his career, he chose Arizona. The goal, he said, to achieve something greater than just being part of a winning team.
“We want to do something special,” he said. “I’m here for that.”